I had different episodes of vertigo lasting on and off for months. I had imbalances, out of body experiences, benign positional vertigo. Whenever I go shopping, the ground would feel like it was collapsing and I would have motion sickness from people passing by. I would be scared to leave my house for a while before I regained self-control.
I felt trembling and sonic discomfort as if there was an earthquake, turbulence or construction close by. It sounded like rumbling in my head. This sensitivity had set off unusual body tremors and heart palpitations that I could hear. (Loss appetite from dizziness)
I seeked professional help and was sent home with normal vertigo and not a cause for emergency. I was told to stay hydrated, avoid certain diets and using monitors which was impossible because my job as a freelance designer depended on it.
A month passed had tooth pain due to wisdom tooth extraction. two were impacted two were infected. had to remove it. thought it was the reason for vertigo and temporomandibular joint pain.
Turns out it wasn’t the case. Tmjd still there, senses were all messed up in my head. Had clicking and popping, tinnitus, migraines, neck and jaw pain, all the symptoms of eustachian tube dysfunction and tmjd combined.
I lost a lot of weight from the oral surgery as result had anemia, went through a dark rabbit hole again. suffered depression and lost my creativity. I couldn’t make art, worst of all I was losing my clients.
The problems continued. I started having blurry spells and visual disturbances from overstimulating environments, made me incredibly exhausted. Consulted an ENT doctor for all my congestion and vertigo needs, Consulted an optometrist who gave me my first pair of glasses and diagnosed me with near stress syndrome and astigmatism.
Im 27, I was healthy and active before. why is this happening? what is the root of my problem? I visited an acupuncture. learned to self heal because western doctors brushed me off once too many times. i needed help. Acupuncture helped revived my emotion, correct tmj symptoms and what i lacked in vitamins, herbs and supplements. but it got expensive. I was still freelancing at the time making bare minimum to survive and pay bills.
Got a job opportunity in summer 2016. Thought it was my break. I get to do illustrations and learn make animations finally my talents are being put to good use..no, i wasn’t able to excel in the company. I was riding it out anyway did whatever i had to do for money. but then my health suffered again (had no insurance, no benefits), visiting clinics more frequently and seeing my friends less came with growing anxiety and panic attacks.
Excused myself from work because of doctor appointments, feeling more and more disconnected with my co-workers but i had no choice. Work space started getting unfriendly and non-welcoming to a point where i saw no more value in me for this company. I became isolated from my co-workers and everything around me.
Jaw problems and teeth alignments started shifting. I was more stressed than ever. i finally had to get braces. I worked full time for a year then got laid off 2017 summer right after my braces went on. I’ve been updating my portfolio and looking for work since, but haven’t had much luck landing a career job.
If there is anything else that is left in me its my art. and i’m going to tell it like it is! The funds will be used to help me put on my first curated multi-media group art show in Toronto featuring my work and 4 others like myself that have struggled with presenting their craft in public. The date of the show is approved Oct 20 at DAIS gallery, run time to be determined. It’s a Free show.
When I was 17, I worked at Immigrant Culture and Art Association helping low income families, children, seniors and emerging artists through art education, and presentation of work. 5 years, I watched the students cultivate their own bright futures, despite their disabilities and hardships. To see them so proud to have their work up on a wall was the happiest feeling I would never forget. I have not been able to experience this feeling with my illustrations and would love to share my art with everyone. Its my goal to pay it forward, and with your help to kickstart this project, I plan to continue this concept and keep creating.
Its not really my style to ask for donation but all the ailments and unfortunate events that led up to now have taken a huge toll. And all I’m asking is for my friends, family, and supporters to help me get back up on my feet. Any amount is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your time – it means so much to me.
- Alexander Sia
- Hieng Tang
- Neal Woon-Fat
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